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Sto. Tomas moves to solo 3rd by sweeping State U



By Julian Reyes 

PASAY -- EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina caught fire from the offensive end, while Ria Meneses imposed her defensive prowess to the net to lead University of Sto. Tomas into an all-important victory over the UP Lady Maroons, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16, in their second round matchup in the UAAP Season 79 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at Mall of Asia Arena, Sunday. 

Laure and Rondina tallied 15 and 14 points respectively while Meneses recorded eight of UST’s 10 kill-blocks as the Tigresses exacted revenge over UP and moved one win away from returning to the Final Four since the Season 74. 

UST had won seven of their last nine games and now sits at solo third with 8-5 card. UP, on the other hand, ties National University and Far Eastern University for fourth place at 7-6.

"Hindi na kami aasa ngayon sa ibang team at nasa kamay na namin 'yung tsansa namin na makapasok sa Final Four," said UST coach Kungfu Reyes. 

A victory by the Tigresses over NU in their final game of the elimination round on Saturday will automatically give UST the third-seed. Otherwise, if UST losses, the EspaƱa-based squad will play in a playoff game for fourth-seed. For the Lady Maroons’ part, a loss to FEU on Wednesday will officially eliminate them.

"Ngayon, andito na kami, papasok na kami, malaki na 'yung chance namin para sa Final Four," said Reyes.

The Tigresses came back from early deficits in the first two sets before showcasing their A-game in the final set to slam door on UP. UST led by as much as 20-9 midway through the third frame and never looked back. Diana Mae Carlos led UP with eight points while Isa Molde and Nicole Tiamzon had seven apiece, but no UP player scored more than four.

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